Eugene's Reviews > The Hearing Trumpet

The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington
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Sep 21, 07

Read in January, 1990

Originally read this in about 1990 - Virago published this, her only novel, a collection of short stories and an autobiographical piece in the late 1980s. Have been looking for the short stories ever since (the copies I read belonged to an ex-girlfriend). So was absolutely delighted when Penguin reprinted The Hearing Trumpet.

It is really well written, full of sharp intelligence and wicked humour. It concerns the life and times of 92 year old Marian Letherby as she is shunted into a bizarre old people's home run along Behaviourist lines by a cheapskate Doctor. But who is the leering Abbess whose winking picture gazes down onto the dining room? And will she ever get to Lapland? She has her allies and a very fine Hearing Trumpet to help her work out what is really going on.

Leonora Carrington has one of those lives that read like fiction - half-Irish Lancastrian, a debutante who ran away to join the Surrealists, lived with Max Ernst, had a breakdown, escaped war torn Europe, ended up in Mexico where I believe she still resides, as an extremely successful fine artist. It always makes me feel good that such people exist in the world. The new edition sports an introduction from the Scottish writer Ali Smith, whose 'The Whole Story and other stories' I am enjoying so much at the moment.
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